Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saint Joseph's Hospital Demolition

I was coming across the University Ave bridge this afternoon and noticed that the demolition work on the old Saint Joseph's Hospital building - to make way for University Crossing - was progressing rather quickly. Since we have pretty good light today and this is a weekend day when nothing is going on, I ran home for my  camera and came back to shoot a few photos before the whole thing is gone.

Pawtucket Street side.
Stair tower, Merrimack Street.
Salem Street entrance.
I have very few memories of the inside of this building, save my mom working there for a few years when i was a kid, and that was in the back of the building which still stands. However, I know a lot of people have happy and sad memories of this place. I was unaware when the University bought it that it was going to be demolished - I've heard there were structural issues. Either way, the wings coming down were built in the 1950s. The later additions to the back will remain standing.

Maternity ward?

Note the map of the hospital still on the wall.
I have written a bit about the hospital before, but honestly, I don't know all that much. This page covers the history up until the merger with Saint Jospeh's in 1992 forming Saint's Memorial Medical Center.

Rest of the photos:

St Joseph's Hospital Demolition - Aug '12

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Long Time, No Posts

I've certainly been running out of steam with this blog.

When I started out in 2006, I was new to Lowell and was sharing a lot of what I was learning about the city as I went. A few years ago, I moved over to Blogger and the topics moved from Lowell "As It Is and As It Was" to broader issues with a local focus. At this point, I feel that many other, exponentially more popular blogs, cover this stuff really well. What they don't cover is often available on Facebook, where numerous Lowell groups and pages have sprung up. For example, I helped found the Innovative Cities: Lowell, Massachusetts group, and am an admin/content creator on the Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association and Lowell Historical Society pages. Both of these pages also have blogs. I almost never use it, but I'm also on Twitter. You'll see that I updated my reading list panel with a few blogs that weren't there before. I've also set up my Facebook for public subscribing. I'll give that a try, if I can remember to post publicly: (Well that didn't work out - didn't realize that not only is the post itself public, but all the comments on it! I don't want my friend's posts to me nor my replies back being public. Too bad. Maybe I need to learn to love Twitter.)

I've also been really busy. In addition to my Facebook work, I have a new Real Job and have been involved in various other things. I've become more involved with Mill City Grows recently, and I also am now a graduate of The Lowell Plan's Public Matters program.

I was invited to speak to the City Manager on Channel 99 last week with members of the mainstream media and fellow bloggers. Mimi over at Left In Lowell, has a post linking to all the other posts about the Round-table discussion. I think it went really well - the questions were excellent and the members of the Lynch Administration (now completing six years!) who were present did a great job answering our questions. There was a lot of buzz of course about the license commission, but other great questions asked the administration why there are few or no women/minorities on the various city boards and why Lowell has one of the highest commercial tax rates in the Commonwealth. Lowell CFO Tom Moses explained that land values in Lowell tend to be lower so overall tax burden is fairly average. Furthermore, compared to other expenses, property tax burden tends to be a non-issue, especially when compared to the major reasons a company may choose to locate in a particular community (things like infrastructure and available workforce). Of course, questions on what the administration has done a great and a poor job of came up, as did schools, etc.

I don't exactly see a replay of the Round-table on 99, and I don't see it available for steaming - but if it's out there, give it a viewing.

That all said, I do plan to still post, so continue to follow me on Blogger, or subscribe to me on Facebook. I've been keeping an eye on the developments along Tanner Street and the Rourke Bridge and have tried to make the meetings when I can. The Hamilton Canal District is still progressing. 110 Canal Street and the new  Canal Street bridge are the next steps in the project - the bridge is complete and the groundbreaking of the 110 Canal Street groundbreaking is imminent. I've included some photos from Craig Thomas, our new Urban Renewal Project Manager (taking over from James Errickson), of the progress at the bridge over the past few years. What a change!

Until next time...